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December 21, 2014

Posts in "Neb. Senate"

June 25, 2014

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

The Club for Growth worked against Sen. Thad Cochran, who won Tuesday's runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Club for Growth, a perpetual thorn in the side of many Republican operatives, took a hit Tuesday in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran survived a primary challenge despite a significant investment from the anti-tax group.

The Club for Growth’s super PAC arm spent $2.4 million against Cochran, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a significant chunk of the $3.8 million it’s expended so far this cycle against Republicans.

What’s more, the defeat of state Sen. Chris McDaniel means the club has now failed to topple arguably its top two GOP incumbent targets of the midterm cycle — Cochran and Rep. Mike Simpson. The club spent nearly $500,000 for Bryan Smith, who lost his May 20 challenge to the Idaho Republican.

Full story

May 13, 2014

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary (Video)

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary (Video)

Sasse prevailed over two Republican rivals in the Nebraska Senate primary race Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ben Sasse pulled off a victory in Nebraska Tuesday night, winning the Republican Senate primary to become the nominee and likely the next senator from the Cornhusker State.

Sasse, president of Midland University and a former Bush administration official, bested former state Treasurer Shane Osborn and banker Sid Dinsdale to win the nomination for this open seat. Republican Sen. Mike Johanns is retiring.

Sasse had 44 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race just before 10 p.m. Dinsdale was in second at 26 percent, followed by Osborn with 23 percent.

Sasse benefited from massive spending by outside groups like the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund. Those groups did a lot of the dirty work, running a barrage of negative ads bashing first Osborn and, later, Dinsdale, while Sasse’s own campaign only ran positive spots about the candidate.

With Sasse’s nomination, the tea party will claim its first big win of the cycle. Tea-party-aligned groups like the Madison Project — along with the club and SCF — backed him, along with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who traveled to Nebraska to rally for Sasse alongside former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

There is no serious Democratic contender. The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Nebraska Primary, West Virginia Primary: A Fight Night Preview

Updated, 11 p.m. | Tea party-versus-the establishment is the theme Tuesday night as voters head to the polls in two of the hottest GOP primaries of the year: open-seat contests for party nods in Nebraska Senate and West Virginia’s 2nd District.

Here’s a recap of the night:

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary

Tea Party Candidate Wins Republican Nod for Capito Seat

Nebraska Primary: Lee Terry’s Close Call

Full story

May 12, 2014

Is Sid Dinsdale the Next Deb Fischer in Nebraska?

Is Sid Dinsdale the Next Deb Fischer in Nebraska?

Sasse is the frontrunner heading into Tuesday's primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

History could repeat itself in Nebraska on Tuesday as voters choose a Republican Senate nominee among three legitimate contenders.

In 2012, now-Sen. Deb Fischer pulled off an unlikely, come-from-behind victory in a GOP primary she was trailing heading into the final week. Fischer had less money and was less well-known, but she rose to the top after two other candidates spent the campaign aggressively bashing each other.

Two years later, Sid Dinsdale, the president of Pinnacle Bank, has run third in the Senate primary. But as outside groups supporting Midland University president Ben Sasse and former state Treasurer Shane Osborn have relentlessly attacked their leading opposition, Dinsdale saw a spike in his poll numbers.

“Dinsdale spent enough money … that with the negatives that the other two have given each other, he’s been able to rise up and become a very serious factor,” said Chris Peterson, an unaligned Nebraska Republican consultant. Full story

May 9, 2014

Sasse Launches Closing Argument TV Ad

Sasse Launches Closing Argument TV Ad

Sasse is airing his final TV ad before Tuesday's primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ben Sasse’s final TV ad ahead of Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary in Nebraska touts his big-name endorsements, his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and his campaign’s decision not to run negative advertising.

The spot lands amid a crush of ads run by outside groups backing Sasse and one of his opponents, former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, in the final week before the May 13 primary.

Sasse’s spot is running statewide on broadcast and cable, part of a 1,500-point buy for the final week of the campaign, according to a campaign spokesman. Full story

May 8, 2014

Sid Dinsdale Fires Back in TV Ad (Video)

The latest tea party target is wasting no time in responding to recent attacks.

Nebraska Republican Senate hopeful Sid Dinsdale is firing back at outside groups hitting him on the airwaves in the final days before the primary. According to his campaign, Dinsdale will be on the air tonight with a response TV ad. The campaign declined to provide specifics on the buy.

“Desperate Washington special interests are spending dark money falsely attacking Sid Dinsdale and his family, telling you who to vote for,” the ad’s narrator says. “Nebraskans are self-reliant people who don’t need to be told what to do from special interests.”

Full story

Outside Groups Target Dinsdale Ahead of Nebraska Primary

Five days before the Nebraska Republican Senate primary, outside groups are beginning to train their sights on self-funding banker Sid Dinsdale, who has run third in the polls.

Dinsdale faces Midland University President Ben Sasse and former state Treasurer Shane Osborn in the May 13 primary in this safe Republican seat; the winner of the GOP primary will likely be the next senator from Nebraska.

A TV ad released Thursday by the Club for Growth, which is backing Sasse, attacks Dinsdale for being too liberal, saying he donated money to Democrats and said the Affordable Care Act had some “good aspects.”

“That’s really liberal,” the narrator says. “That’s the real Sid Dinsdale.” Full story

May 6, 2014

Super PAC Uses Candidate’s Kids to Attack His Campaign

A Super PAC released a new advertisement attacking Republican Ben Sasse for trying to “hide behind” his children, one week before the Senate GOP primary in Nebraska.

The 15-second ad, posted to YouTube on Tuesday, which says it is paid for by the Freedom Pioneers Action Network, takes footage from an ad run by Sasse, in which his two daughters talk about how conservative their father is and how much he dislikes Obamacare.

“Fact: Ben Sasse said Obamacare ‘is an important first step,’ ” says a female narrator, pointing to a quote that has been repeatedly leveled against Sasse, which he says was taken entirely out of context.

Full story

May 2, 2014

Veterans Blast Shane Osborn on TV in Senate Race

Updated 4:56 p.m. | The 60 Plus Association has debuted a new ad in the Nebraska Senate race that features veterans attacking former state Treasurer Shane Osborn as dishonest and deceitful.

Osborn, who served in the Navy, faces Midland University President Ben Sasse and banker Sid Dinsdale in a competitive Republican primary for Senate.

The group airing the spot, 60 Plus, is backing Sasse in the May 13 primary.

In the script for the ad, published first by Roll Call, three retired Nebraska veterans, Col. Kevin L. Neuman, who served in the Army; Capt. Danny Mason, who served in the Navy; and Brig. Gen. Carl Lorenzen, who served in the Air Force, say they cannot vote for Osborn because they feel he has been dishonest in his behavior since his military service. Full story

March 17, 2014

Shane Osborn Up With First Nebraska Senate TV Ad

Former Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn, who is running in a competitive GOP Senate primary, launched his first TV ad Monday.

With less than two months to go before the May 13 primary, Osborn is running a biographical ad that reaches back to an international incident he was involved in as a Naval aviator. It will be a two-week, $80,000 buy, according to an Osborn source, but Nebraska is a relatively cheap media market and Osborn’s advertising is expected to increase.

Osborn is one of several veterans who are using their military biographies to make their case for public office.

Full story

March 4, 2014

Mike Lee Backs Sasse in Nebraska Primary

Mike Lee Backs Sasse in Nebraska Primary

Nebraska candidate Ben Sasse is backed by Sen. Mike Lee (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Utah Sen. Mike Lee is backing Ben Sasse for Senate in Nebraska, adding another congressional endorsement for the Midland University president in his competitive GOP primary.

Sasse is building a “diverse, conservative coalition,” his campaign said in a statement Tuesday. Along with Lee, Sasse has the support of House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, as well as outside groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and Club for Growth. Full story

February 10, 2014

Coburn Endorses in Competitive Nebraska Senate Primary

Coburn Endorses in Competitive Nebraska Senate Primary

Coburn voiced his support for a candidate in Nebraska. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has declared his support for Midland University President Ben Sasse’s bid for Senate in Nebraska.

“Ben is just the kind of person we need in Washington,” Coburn told the Lincoln Journal Star in a Sunday story. “He is a totally open and honest guy who is very responsive and responsible. If Ben was running in Oklahoma, I’d vote for him.”

Sasse, a Republican, faces a number of other GOP candidates in the primary, including former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, banker Sid Dinsdale and attorney Bart McLeay, among others. The seat is open because Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., is retiring.

Conservative groups are divided between two Republicans: Sasse and Osborn.

Full story

December 16, 2013

Nebraska Republican to Make TV Buy During BCS Game

Midland University President Ben Sasse has scheduled airtime on Jan. 6 during the Bowl Championship Series game between Auburn University and Florida State University, according to multiple sources who track media buys.

The buy is worth about $8,500. Full story

November 11, 2013

Conservative Groups Divided in Nebraska Senate Race

Conservative Groups Divided in Nebraska Senate Race

Osborn got an endorsement today. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a display of the unpredictability of the race, conservative groups are falling on opposite sides of the Republican Senate primary in Nebraska.

FreedomWorks, a tea-party-affiliated group that has backed candidates like Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced Monday that it has endorsed former state Treasurer Shane Osborn. Full story

November 7, 2013

Club for Growth Makes Endorsement in Nebraska GOP Primary

The Club for Growth is taking sides in the GOP Senate primary in Nebraska, where a competitive nomination battle has unfolded for a safely Republican seat.

On Thursday, the club’s political action arm announced its endorsement of Midland University President Ben Sasse, one of a handful of Republicans running for the state’s open seat. In a statement, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola highlighted Sasse’s outspoken opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care law, which stems from Sasse’s experience as an assistant secretary at Health and Human Services.

“Ben Sasse is the rare candidate who can clearly and forcefully prosecute the case against ObamaCare, not only because it’s an unconstitutional assault on our liberty, but also because he’s read every word of it,” Chocola said. Full story

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